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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just One Thing - Challenge 2: The Dirty Dozen

We explored the depths of relegating your microwave to the junk pile (or the basement...or to Salvation Army) in the last challenge.  Onward and we forge our path toward (bum ba da baaaaaa) pesticide reduction.

Pesticide reduction?  What the heck for?  My direct and unfiltered answer: do you want cancer?  Are you trying to make your kids totally inept and spazzy?  Are you supporting the death of honeybees that make it possible for us to eat piles of produce?  Do you even care about poisoning the land beyond recognition so that your offspring will have a world devoid of any nutrients and health whatsoever?  (Like I said, unfiltered.)  Consuming vast swathes of insane poisons sprayed all over your absorby food is straight up a TOTALLY INSANE IDEA that we blatantly overlook for no good reason.  Just think about this for like two seconds.  We spray things that kill living beings (no, I'm not on a specific "save-the-bug" bus here, I'm just pointing this out) all over our food (HELLO?) and then ingest it, thinking this is totally normal and nothing to worry about.

After all, the FDA and the USDA approve it, so it must be perfectly fine.

(If you believe that, step a little closer so I can slap your forehead for you.)

What if I told you that there was a nice quick and dirty (well, actually, maybe I should say "clean") way to avoid the bulk of pesticides?

There is.

The EWG is the Envoronmental Working Group (find them at  They test every kind of fruit and veg you can imagine for pesticides and report it out to the public.  Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, we have pathetic standards for what is safe (couldn't be from all of the lobbyists who beg for loose restrictions so that they can make buckets of money) and trail behind the standards of the countries of Europe.  (Hello, Americans?  Get up that competitive spirit and let's get in first place here!)

They have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides so that if you were to purchase and consume them organically, you would automatically reduce your pesticide load by more than 90%.   This is what they call the "Dirty Dozen".  It is the top twelve fruits and vegetables that if you could buy organically,  you really ought to.

What are they?  Well, they change yearly (although they do have many of the same homies populating the list year after year) because they test yearly.

For every year I've looked at the Dirty Dozen,  I've always seen the top two as they are this year: apples and strawberries.  Those puppies are just LACED with junk.  

Here is the Dirty Dozen, in order:
1.  worst place: apples
2.  strawberries
3.  grapes
4.  celery
5.  peaches
6.  spinach
7.  sweet peppers (red peppers)
8.  imported nectarines
9.  cucumbers
10.  cherry tomatoes
11.  imported snap peas
12.  potatoes

In each of those cases, you are chowing down on the outside of the fruit/veg where toxic chemicals have been directly sprayed.

The EWG also puts out the "Clean Fifteen" - the fruits and veggies that contained the least amount of pesticide residue.  If you're on a budget and just can't buy everything organically, here are ones that you could best get away with doing so.

The Clean Fifteen, cleanest first.
1.  avocados
2.  sweet corn
3.  pineapples
4.  cabbage
5.  frozen sweet peas
6.  onions
7.  asparagus
8.  mangoes
9.  papayas
10.  kiwi
11.  eggplant
12.  grapefruit
13.  cantaloupe
14.  cauliflower
15.  sweet potatoes

So.  Will you consider reducing your pesticide load by perhaps switching to organic on some of these fruits and veggies?  I know that this does have a cost component, but I would encourage you with two things. First, how much is your health worth?  You know what Joel Salatin says, right?  "If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"  That.  Secondly, don't buy any prepackaged foods and you can save yourself enough money to put in the organic food basket.  Prepackaged foods are devoid of nutrition and are sucking your life out of you, anyway, so it's a win-win.

I'm not here to boss you around and tell you you stink if you don't buy organic fruit.  I'm here to encourage you to take a look at what you're doing.  Don't just go on like a cog in a machine and go with the flow because everybody else is doing  it (everybody else is also sick).  You are not like everyone else.  God made you special, sista/brotha!

The point is that it's just insane to look around at so much sickness and think if we just cross our fingers and throw salt over our shoulder we'll try to dodge that bullet.  Do something about it.  Today.

Your health is not a roulette game.  Every move you make walks you toward or away from wellness.  Just think about it.

Here is a very practical, instant, do something about it now change you can make.

Peace, love, and smell the delicious organic apples,
Ms. Daisy

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